Saturday, April 28, 2012
In a time-limited soundbite, one of Chris’s guests, whose name I regrettably did not catch, noted that events in Chicago over a hundred years ago gave rise to a holiday which has ever since been celebrated around the world - but not in the U.S., which celebrates Labor Day in September.
Pursuing the history, the only detailed article I found on the internet at www.marxists.org/glossary/events/m/a.htm#may-day, relates the Haymarket riots in Chicago, which occurred in 1896 after employers had been refusing to institute the eight-hour day demanded two years earlier by the U.S. Federation of Organized Trade and Labor. A general strike on May 1st, 1886 in which 350,000 workers participated countrywide, turned bloody on the third day in Chicago when police opened fire.
You can read the details at the above link, but what I want to point out here is that three years later, in 1889, the Second Congress of the Socialist International voted to commemorate the Haymarket massacre, and the following year, massive demonstrations were held across Europe, calling for an eight-hour day and other benefits. Gradually May 1st became workers rights day throughout the world - except in the United States.
While the European campaign for the eight-hour day followed the American campaign, American workers were deprived of a potent symbol of worker power. They are allowed a day off at the end of summer, in an emasculated version a holiday which, in the rest of the world, emphasizes workers‘ rights.
Better late than never, this year the Occupy Movement is putting May 1st back on the American labor calendar. See your local Occupiers for details.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Tonight I find this in my email: www.tomdispatch.com/post/175532/tomgram%3A_lewis_lapham%2C_machine-made_news/?utm_source=TomDispatch&utm_campaign=683deec048-TD_Lapham4_22_2012&utm_medium=email#more.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
What is known historically as the Muslim conquest lasted from the 8th (eighth) century to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922. By 750 A.D., successive Muslim Empires encompassed North Africa and the Saudi Arabian peninsula, whence they stretched to Northern India. Muslims conquered India between the 13th and 16th centuries, converting part of the population from Hinduism. (In 1947, after India became independent, part of India’s Muslim population was transferred to the new sovereign state of Pakistan.)
Between 1095 and 1291 European Catholic monarchs organized no fewer than seven Crusades in a futile attempt to wrest the Holy Land from Muslim rule.
Undeterred, Muslims conquered Eastern Europe all the way to Hungary: anyone having lived in Hungary cannot escape learning that two fateful battles against the Muslims were fought in the town of Mohacs, in Southwestern Hungary in 1526 and 1687, marking the beginning and the end of Ottoman domination of that country.
What relevance do these facts have for current efforts to prevent the Islamization of Europe?
The first is that by the time the Ottoman Empire fell, Islam had been a powerful force for more than a thousand years. The second is that at present, after a decline of less than a century, Islam is once again a rising force, as the second largest world religion (23% of the world population versus 33% for Christianity).
Add to this South/North population pressures, and it is difficult to believe that Europe will remain a predominantly Christian region forever. Islam is the largest religion in Africa, just across the Mediterranean, which is home to one fourth of the world’s Muslim population.
Presently, the French presidential election nears, in which immigration, mainly from Africa, is a hot issue; a Norwegian stands trial for having assassinated some 70 people in cold blood to ‘protect’ his country from multiculturalism; the United States continues to indulge in wars against Muslim countries of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, while its citizens are protected from prosecution by ‘stand your ground’ laws that facilitate racial killings, a few more statistics may possibly help forestall at least some bloodshed:
I have written elsewhere that Caucasians constitute an absolute minority on the face of the earth. But the world Caucasian is a loaded term, but let us say for the sake of argument that it refers to populations who are neither Asian, Indian nor Black. A website called nationsonline.org divides the world population according to continent:
For a total world population of just under 7 billion, Africa accounts for over 1 billion, Asia over 4 billion, the Americas, 900 million, Europe, 739 million and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) 35 million. That makes ‘Caucasians’ barely 2/5ths of the world’s population.
Besides being the dominant religion in the Middle East, Islam is the religion of forty percent of the population of southeast Asia, and is the fastest growing religion worldwide.
In its quest for dwindling resources the world needs to avoid waging what is surely destined to be (once again) a losing battle over God.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
To: Aaron Leitch
Operator: Thank you for calling Pizza
Hut. May I have your national ID
Customer: Hi, I'd like to place an
Operator: I must have your NIDN first,
Customer: My National ID Number, yeah,
hold on, eh, it's 6102049998-45-54610.
Operator: Thank you Mr. Smith. I see you
live at 1742 Meadowland Drive, and the
phone number is 494-2366. Your office
number over at Lincoln Insurance is 745-
2302 and your cell number is 266-2566.
Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Which
number are you calling from?
Customer: Huh? I'm at home. Where'd you
get all this information?
Operator: We're wired into the HSS, sir.
Customer: The HSS, what is that?
Operator: We're wired into the Homeland
Security System, sir. This will add only
15 seconds to your ordering time.
Customer: (sighs) Oh well, I'd like to
order a couple of your All Meat
Operator: I don't think that's a good
Customer: Whaddya mean?
Operator: Sir, your medical records and
commode sensors indicate that you've got
very high blood pressure and extremely
high cholesterol. Your National Health
Care provider won't allow such an
unhealthy choice .
Customer: What?!?! What do you
Operator: You might try our low-fat
Soybean Pizza.I'm sure you'll like
Customer: What makes you think I'd like
something like that?
Operator: Well, you checked out 'Gourmet
Soybean Recipes' from your local library
last week, sir. That's why I made the
Customer: All right, all right. Give me
two family-sized ones, then
Operator: That should be plenty for you,
your wife and your four kids.
Your 2 dogs can finish the crusts, sir.
Your total is $49.99.
Customer: Lemme give you my credit card
Operator: I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid
you'll have to pay in cash. Your credit
card balance is over its limit.
Customer: I'll run over to the ATM and
get some cash before your driver gets
Operator: That won't work either, sir.
Your checking account is overdrawn also.
Customer: Never mind! Just send the
pizzas. I'll have the cash ready. How
long will it take?
Operator: We're running a little behind,
sir. It'll be about 45 minutes, sir. If
you're in a hurry you might want to
pick'em up while you're out getting the
cash, but then, carrying pizzas on a
motorcycle can be a little awkward.
Customer: Wait! How do you know I ride a
Operator: It says here you're in arrears
on your car payments, so your
car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid
for and you just filled the tank
Customer: Well, I'll be a #%#^^&$%^$@#
Operator: I'd advise watching your
language, sir. You've already got a
July 4, 2003, conviction for cussing out
a cop and another one I see here in
September for contempt at your hearing
for cussing at a judge. Oh yes, I see
here that you just got out from a 90 day
stay in the State Correctional Facility.
Is this your first pizza since your
return to society?
Operator: Will there be anything else,
Customer: Yes, I have a coupon for a
free 2 liter of Coke.
Operator: I'm sorry sir, but our ad's
exclusionary clause prevents us from
offering free soda to diabetics. The New
Constitution our country started using
in 2006 prohibits this.
Thank you for calling Pizza Hut!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
According to the Brotherhood’s website /www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=29843, delegates held talks starting Monday of this week with U.S. news media and think tanks. Today they are holding a conference on Islamist movements in power at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.
The delegation will also participate in other public events at Georgetown University, the US Chamber of Commerce as well as meeting with the Egyptian community and US officials.
Meanwhile, Brotherhood leader and founder of the "Egyptian Business Development Association" (EBDA), Hassan Malik has been reassuring investors that their money will be safe in Egypt. (On March 24 he organized an international conference ‘to support Egypt’s economy through business’).
The Brotherhood’s new Freedom and Justice Party won a plurality in the recent post-Mubarak parliamentary elections, and yesterday it announced that it would run a candidate for president, reversing a previous decision. In other news from the website:
(The Chairman of the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood), ‘Dr. Morsi asserted that the FJP puts the Palestinian issue at the forefront of its interests, because it is an issue linked to the national security of Egypt and the Arab and Muslim world. He highlighted the importance of overcoming the differences between Palestinian factions, working to complete national reconciliation efforts, and ending the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. These, he added, are key stepping stones on the way of defending Al-Aqsa Mosque and liberating the Holy City of Jerusalem.
‘Further, the FJP Chairman said that the Palestinian issue and the siege of Gaza were two key factors in sparking Egypt’s January 25 Revolution, which confirms the great importance of the Palestinian cause to the Egyptian Government and all the Egyptian people. Dr. Morsi added that this prompted FJP members in the People's Assembly and Shura Council to push for lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, and the visit by the Egyptian parliament’s Arab Affairs Committee to Gaza....noting the party’s support for providing the people of Gaza with electricity and diesel fuel and other necessities. Dr. Morsi also pointed that members of Egyptian People’s Assembly have engaged many parliamentary mechanisms to warn of the danger of Judaization operations carried out in the Holy City of Jerusalem.’
In other words what is probably the Muslim world’s largest and oldest organization (founded in 1928), wants to reassure the Egyptian street of its support for the Palestinian cause, while attracting economic support from the American business community. An undertaking that will be worth watching.